Primarily known for her work as an illustrator, Laura Carlin’s ambitious and emotionally resonant work has led to some of the most striking contemporary books for children, including her award-winning illustrations for The Iron Man, The Promise and for her solo project A World of Your Own.
A strikingly original illustrator Laura Carlin’s work frequently touches on emotionally complex subjects and adult themes of loss, social injustice and environmental change.
A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Carlin established her career as a commercial illustrator and her work regularly features in publications such as Vogue, The Guardian and The Sunday Telegraph.
Principally known for her work as an illustrator (Carlin has also had success working in ceramics) Carlin has worked with contemporary children’s authors including Nicola Davies for her book The Promise about a young thief whose lie is transformed by stealing a bag of a acorns and Michael Morpurgo’s book The Kites are Flying!, a story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Pictures That Change the World
In 2015 Carlin published her own book, A World of Your Own, an ambitious project to teach children how to recognise, shape and understand the words around them through a lavish collage of words and pictures. Carlin states that her ambition as a writer and illustrator is to always say something new with the words and pictures; ‘you’re in danger of repeating the words with your images, so it’s important to think of ideas, themes or a bias behind the story, which can give you another way in.’
In the same year, Carlin also illustrated a new edition of Ted Hughes’ masterpiece The Iron Man, leading her to be awarded the grand prize at the world’s biggest children’s illustration awards, The Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB) for her work on both projects, the first time the award had been given to a UK illustrator since 1995.
Constantly innovating and working on some of the most interesting and challenging projects for children today, Carlin is certainly one to watch.
"Working with Laura is a journey filled with visual emotion, humour and beauty. Being constantly surprised and delighted and having such fun has made making books with her truly memorable." - Liz Wood, Designer, Walker Books